Discover how artificial intelligence is transforming the probiotics industry and shaping the future of supplements by compressing R&D timelines and accelerating commercialization.

March 5, 2024

2 Min View

At a Glance

  • Probiotics are the No. 2 supplement ingredient class.
  • AI and machine learning are supercharging innovation.
  • Hear how Verb Biotics is using these new technologies.

Artificial intelligence, or AI for short, is disrupting industries the world over. That’s because we have reached a point with information posted on the internet that computers can sift through all of this information in an infinitesimally small amount of time compared to what any group of humans could possibly accomplish, and present this information quickly.

What AI is doing in the supplements world is radically compressing the time between R&D and commercialization.

“There’s a lot of information that’s out there, there’s information on bacterial genomes, on strains, on the host and what it can do,” said Noah Zimmerman, chief science officer at Verb Biotics. “But it’s so unwieldly because the amount of data is so big. So using artificial intelligence, machine learning, we’re able to really take some of that information and apply it.”

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This article and video are part of the Natural Products Insider digital magazine, "Biotics." Download it for free here.]

That application can take many forms for curious scientists. The quick-draw information might allow humans to, for example, see how a probiotic strain can reproduce, or how a strain functions in the gut when there are millions of other strains available — but also how it has an impact on the host, the biochemistry and metabolomics associated there.

Related:Save dietary supplement product development time with science report

“So by putting those together we get a better understanding, using AI and machine learning,” said Zimmerman, “to be able to plan out clinical trials, to get a better impact on what’s happening in our overall health.”

Verb Biotics used AI and high-throughput screening to sift through hundreds of millions of bacterial candidates to identify the specific bacterial strain that might exert a useful health effect. The work to conduct such a task was simply impossible by humans even just a few short years ago.

Now is an exciting time to be a scientist,” said Zimmerman, “because we’ve got new skills and new technologies that we can lean into to make more robust decisions.”

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